Fixed monthly Direct Debit - how it works.

Gas with calculator and pencil.

Direct Debits explained.

Fixed monthly Direct Debit (DD) is a great way to pay for your energy - it gives you cheaper prices than if you pay when you get your bill, and it smooths out your payments so you don’t get bigger bills in winter and smaller ones in summer.

Your fixed monthly Direct Debit amount is based on an estimate of your total yearly energy use split into 12 equal monthly payments. We’ll also factor in any credit or debt on your account - and if you’re in debt, we’ll collect it over 12 months as part of your DD.

We’ll review your payment amount regularly and if you start to use more or less energy, or if your prices change, your payment may need to be adjusted.

Most homes use more energy in winter, so we calculate your Direct Debit payments to build up a credit in the summer - to help pay for your energy in the winter. This way you won’t suddenly start paying more each month when you start to use more energy.

To help make sure your DD amount is based on accurate usage, it’s really important to provide meter readings every month (or get a smart meter so you don’t need to).

Why is my Direct Debit changing?

Payment review (sometimes called ‘payment adequacy’).

We review your monthly payment regularly to check it’s right for the energy you’re using. If you’re consistently using more energy than your monthly payment covers, we may suggest that you increase your Direct Debit amount to avoid building up a debt on your account. We may also advise this if you haven’t built up enough credit to cover your winter costs, or if there’s already a debt on your account. Find out more about payment reviews.

Price changes.

If you’re on a standard variable tariff, your prices could go up or down when the price cap gets reviewed - in January, April, July and October each year. This may mean your Direct Debit payment will need to change. Learn more about the price cap.

You’ve just joined us.

When you begin your journey with us, we have to estimate your monthly payment information from your quote and your previous supplier. We only get access to your actual data after your switch, because of data protection guidelines. You may have used more or less energy that we initially anticipated which means you could have a credit or debt on your account. We’ll email you if we think your Direct Debit need to change.

Direct Debits explained.

Need help managing your Direct Debit?

In this video our Energy Specialists explain the difference between ‘variable’ and ‘fixed’ Direct Debits and how they work throughout the year.

Prices are falling - why is my Direct Debit increasing, or not reducing?

This could be either because you have debt on your account, because your Direct Debit has been lower than it needed to be, or you don’t have a big enough credit balance to prevent you going into debt following the winter months, when you use more energy.

My account is in credit and prices are falling - why is my Direct Debit not reducing?

If there isn’t enough credit on your account to cover your higher winter usage, your Direct Debit may need to stay at the same level it was to prevent you going into debt following the winter months.

Why is my account in credit or debt?

The amount of energy you use will vary throughout the year. It’s normal to build up a debt at the end of the winter, or be in credit at the end of summer. We use the credit built up over the summer months to offset increased usage over winter. To make sure that you’re paying the right amount, it’s really important to provide meter readings every month (or get a smart meter which sends us meter reading automatically).

Can I change my monthly Direct Debit amount?

If you feel that you’re paying too much or too little and aren’t sure if this is right or just want some extra guidance, get in touch and we can look at changing this for you. We’d always just ask you to remember that your Direct Debit amount is based on 12 months of usage divided into equal payments, plus an amount to help build up a healthy credit balance and avoid going into debt in the winter.

An example Direct Debit.

The graph below shows an example of how a Direct Debit looks over a year. The figures used are for illustrative purposes only.

What do the next 12 months look like for you. How your energy use changes over the year and how spreading your payments means you spread the cost evenly over the year.

To learn more about Direct Debits and how they can help you manage your energy bills check out our blog.

Your Direct Debit FAQs.